Florida Resident Sentenced to Prison for Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns
Caused IRS Loss of More than $1.2 Million
A Florida resident was sentenced today in federal court in White Plains, New York to 18 months in prison, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim for the Southern District of New York.
According to documents filed with the court, from February 2010 through March 2011, Damyon Shuler, 47, approached relatives and others and told them that he could claim slave reparations on their behalf by filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for which he charged a $4,000 to $5,000 fee. Shuler then filed 30 returns with the IRS on behalf of other taxpayers, claiming bogus refunds of between $48,184 and $61,300 on each return. To generate the fraudulent refunds, Shuler reported fake capital gains income and taxes paid on that income in the exact same amount. He also attached to each return a form falsely reporting that a Treasury Department office or program identified as “Overpayment of Black Invest Taxes” had paid the taxes to the IRS. To conceal that he prepared these returns, Shuler did not list himself as the preparer. Shuler also filed a fraudulent 2009 income tax return for himself claiming a refund of $46,685 based on the same scheme. In total, Shuler’s fraudulent refund scheme led to losses of more than $1.2 million.
In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Nelson S. Roman ordered Shuler to serve one year of supervised release and to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $1.18 million. Shuler pleaded guilty in April to filing his own fraudulent return and filing a fraudulent return on behalf of another taxpayer.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Kim thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Olga Zverovich and Assistant Chief Andrew Kameros of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.